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“Struggled to get off the ground”

Northumbria Helicopters
Attraction details
Reviewed 30 June 2014 via mobile

My Dad has always dreamed of flying a helicopter so decided he would for his 60th birthday. As thiz iz the only company really offering such a service, in our area, this somewhat limited our options!

In February, he contacted the office to be told there wouldn't be an issue and we should be set for 2nd March, day before his 60th. Super, or so we thought... Due to our interchangeable weather the flight was cancelled, however, we weren't phased as we were promised a call to book back in. (I will add, it had taken 3 or 4 calls to initially get booked).

A week went by and I kept asking if my Dad had heard anything, he said he'd left messages and not received any call back. Another few weeks went by and still nothing. He even drove up to try and resolve the communication break, this didn't work, although he did walk into the unattended office and honestly leave again without picking up the phone or car keys left on the desk...

More weeks passed with several more calls not returned. As this was for his 60th, I was becoming some what frustrated and the plan was for my Dad to fly, myself and his girlfriend would be backseat passengers (not cheap for half hour flight but thought he deserved it). Oddly, when I took to Twitter, I received a reply within an hour. Apologetic and advising my Dad would receive a call the following morning. The call came on the afternoon with very little by way of apology for what can only be described as appalling service. Claire booked the flight and told him he would receive a SMS from her to confirm (we flew 22/06 and he still hasn't received that SMS).

I called to confirm the Tuesday before the Sunday flight and was told Claire was out of the office but she would call me back, I couldn't believe it when I had a voicemail with her number, however, even her message sounded like it was an inconvenience to be running helicopter flights as she stated she aas on a day off but had to go in as someone wanted to fly. Isn't this your livelihood??

I sent a text as was more convenient and still there were no apologies, offers of discount or flight extensions... Really, do you need the business?

The morning of the flight, still not confirmed, I called Claire and I have to say, I was impressed that she was away for the weekend and did take my call and confirm the flight was still OK.

The flight itself - WOW! Simon, the pilot, could not have been more helpful and explained everything, made us all feel at ease and couldn't have made us feel any more relaxed (about my Dad piloting the chopper). He showed us to the aircraft and explained what he was doing, the controls, dials etc and then we were off, listening to communication with Air Traffic Control and discussing our flight plan.
The flight experience was exceptional with some great views and also friendly chat en route. Simon even tolerated my Dad trying to give him flying advice (novice doesn't describe him my old man).

In short, would I use this company again? I would rather travel further afield and eliminate other options first. It's a real shame the customer service was non existing and amazing how it could end on such a high. I'm sure many customers have been put off by the poor service they have received and should this be resolved then I'm certain this business would be great, clearly they don't need the custom.

The only reason this is not rated 'Terrible' is down to Simon, should it be based solely on him then it would be full marks - start your own company and I'm sure it will really take off...

15  Thank Pugz02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 - 36 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 19 June 2014

Fabulous from start to finish... I went with my husband and 9month old baby and we all came away smiling .. Excellent customer service I don't understand why there are a few bad reviews concerning this! Very accomadating and went further by producing a certificate for my baby with photo. Def recommend to anyone want wing to something a little different !!

2  Thank Eshal225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014 via mobile

Booked the flight for my nine year old who had an amazing time! Pilot was brilliant and explained everything - fantastic experience and relatively inexpensive. Although he now wants to.be a pilot when he grows up...

3  Thank 954PaulR954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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